Notices
Advocacy & Safety Cyclists should expect and demand safe accommodation on every public road, just as do all other users. Discuss your bicycle advocacy and safety concerns here.

Flashlight for bike?

Old 11-19-19, 04:22 PM
  #1  
RiotArrows
Newbie
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Nov 2019
Posts: 1
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Flashlight for bike?

So I bought a bike 2 days ago from Walmart (Im a newbie at bikes) and I noticed thereís an object between the handle bars that looks like a flashlight for bikes. What is it and how can I exactly turn it on? (I canít provide images because I need to post 10 threads.) Thank you.
RiotArrows is offline  
Old 11-19-19, 07:08 PM
  #2  
csport
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: New York, NY, USA
Posts: 320

Bikes: Double Cross Disc (2017)

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 98 Post(s)
Liked 6 Times in 5 Posts
Maybe it is a reflector? In this case it cannot be turned on.
csport is offline  
Old 11-19-19, 09:06 PM
  #3  
cb400bill
Moderator
 
cb400bill's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Kalamazoo MI
Posts: 16,878

Bikes: Fuji SL 2.1, Schwinn Voyageur, Cannondale Synapse

Mentioned: 39 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1453 Post(s)
Liked 280 Times in 178 Posts
What is the brand and model name of your new bike?
cb400bill is offline  
Old 11-21-19, 11:22 AM
  #4  
CliffordK
Senior Member
 
CliffordK's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Eugene, Oregon, USA
Posts: 23,560
Mentioned: 182 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 9786 Post(s)
Liked 329 Times in 259 Posts
@RiotArrows's Album

https://www.bikeforums.net/g/user/509029
https://www.bikeforums.net/g/album/15885583



Originally Posted by csport View Post
Maybe it is a reflector? In this case it cannot be turned on.


There are quite a few different bike light types. If you do purchase lights, I'd encourage going with both front and rear lights, and getting RECHARGEABLE.

If you use your bike as a commuter, then anything that isn't bolted to the bike is subject to theft.
CliffordK is online now  
Old 11-21-19, 11:32 AM
  #5  
CliffordK
Senior Member
 
CliffordK's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Eugene, Oregon, USA
Posts: 23,560
Mentioned: 182 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 9786 Post(s)
Liked 329 Times in 259 Posts



You haven't asked yet, but that thing that looks like a wood screw should adjust how far out the brake lever ends up when you release it. I.E. How close the levers are to the bars when not in use.

If you have small hands, then tighten the screw until the brakes are comfortable.
If you have large hands, then leave the screw alone. You may even be able to remove it.

The greater range of motion of the lever, the less chance it will bottom out against the bars and not stop you.

The less range of motion, you'll have to take more care to adjust the brakes.

That silver locknut and screw on the end of the cable allows you to adjust the brakes somewhat closer to the rim, or further from the rim if they rub. With high quality road bikes, one often targets 1/16" to 1/8" between the rim and brake pads. With MTBs, perhaps 1/8" to 3/16".

Over time pads wear, and cable can stretch, so adjustment is common.



If you adjust the levers with that "wood screw", you may have to compensate by letting out a little more cable, either with that adjustment on the cable, or the pinch bolt at the brake calipers.
CliffordK is online now  
Old 11-21-19, 01:36 PM
  #6  
JanMM
rebmeM roineS
 
JanMM's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Metro Indy, IN
Posts: 15,634

Bikes: RANS V3 ti, RANS V-Rex, RANS Screamer

Mentioned: 15 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 507 Post(s)
Liked 63 Times in 52 Posts
Probably not impossible nowadays to design an LED light that looks just like a simple bike reflector, but not aware that has been done.
__________________
RANS V3 Ti, RANS V-Rex, RANS Screamer
JanMM is offline  
Old 11-21-19, 01:43 PM
  #7  
livedarklions
Cyclesomatic
 
livedarklions's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2018
Location: New England
Posts: 5,285

Bikes: Trek FX 3; 1994 Specialized Allez Pro; Motobecane Fantom CX; Giant OCR A1

Mentioned: 37 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2725 Post(s)
Liked 1,092 Times in 668 Posts
Answering another question you didn't ask, here's the lights I run on my bike. These are definitely of the "be seen" rather than "for seeing" category. They're rechargeable with a USB cable, and don't require any hardware to install. I like them because I can easily switch them from bike to bike.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
livedarklions is offline  
Old 11-21-19, 01:57 PM
  #8  
CliffordK
Senior Member
 
CliffordK's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Eugene, Oregon, USA
Posts: 23,560
Mentioned: 182 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 9786 Post(s)
Liked 329 Times in 259 Posts
Originally Posted by JanMM View Post
Probably not impossible nowadays to design an LED light that looks just like a simple bike reflector, but not aware that has been done.
You can get generator lights that are mighty thin.

For a battery powered light, one still needs the batteries. Button batteries work, but don't last long.

For the rear, cars are required to have reflectors, and light/reflector combinations are common on both bikes and cars. One can shine a light through a rear reflector.

It is less commonly done on the front, and one would generally desire a headlight to be focused rather than scattered.
CliffordK is online now  
Old 11-21-19, 02:21 PM
  #9  
VegasTriker
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Sin City, Nevada
Posts: 2,185

Bikes: Catrike 700, Greenspeed GTO trike, , Linear LWB recumbent, Haluzak Horizon SWB recumbent, Balance 450 MTB, Cannondale SM800 Beast of the East

Mentioned: 18 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 334 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 25 Times in 19 Posts
Plenty of budget lights out there

Before you get carried away spending nearly as much on your lights as you did for the bike, go to the Electronics, Lighting, & Gadgets forum https://www.bikeforums.net/electroni...hting-gadgets/ and look at the three stickies at the very top of the page where you will find suggestions for reasonably priced LED bike lights for bike headlights and taillights. Go to the last page or so in each heading.


This is my favorite bike flashlight/headlight shown in the top right picture.





It is a CREE XML-T6 flashlight (~900 lumens) and 360 degree flashlight holder made especially for flashlights that can use a Li-ion batter. The holder costs a bit more than a dollar from overseas vendors or about $4 from US sellers. The last time I bought a couple of these flashlights as gifts they were under $7 from US sellers on eBay. A high quality Panasonic 18650 battery for the light is about $7 each and a simple charger for Li-ion batteries is a couple bucks. You can also find a good 100 lumen USB rechargeable tail light with a 500-650 mAh Li-ion battery in it for well under $10. You can run these flashlights on alkaline batteries as long as you buy one that includes the battery holder.


This is a 100 lumen RayPal 2266 tail light with a 500 mAh Li battery and is USB rechargeable. I see it at $6 from a US seller on eBay and a little under $5 from Chinese eBay sellers. It uses the latest chip-on-board LED technology. It's plenty bright for day or night use. I've owned mine for several years and it still works fine.

VegasTriker is offline  
Old 11-21-19, 11:23 PM
  #10  
UniChris
Senior Member
 
UniChris's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2017
Location: NYC
Posts: 865

Bikes: 36" Unicycle

Mentioned: 15 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 370 Post(s)
Liked 75 Times in 64 Posts
Originally Posted by VegasTriker View Post
This is my favorite bike flashlight/headlight shown in the top right picture.
Please don't use a flashlight on the handlebars. Because the pattern is round, it's going to put light in the eyes of oncoming cyclists, rather than on the ground and horizontally where you need it.

There is a somewhat reasonable way to use a small flashlight as a cycling light, but that's to put it on your helmet and keep it zoomed in narrow and positioned such that it is aimed quite down when your head is in usual position. Then you can light where you need to see - mostly the ground in front of you, or a possible obstacle you need to check out. You can also rapidly pan it across oncoming traffic (especially motorized) while still at a distance to draw attention, without keeping it in others eyes. And most importantly of all, as you're actually passing someone you can tilt your head to aim it down and to the side - which is probably where you want your own eyes too, on account of their light.
UniChris is offline  
Old 11-21-19, 11:33 PM
  #11  
CliffordK
Senior Member
 
CliffordK's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Eugene, Oregon, USA
Posts: 23,560
Mentioned: 182 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 9786 Post(s)
Liked 329 Times in 259 Posts
Originally Posted by UniChris View Post
Please don't use a flashlight on the handlebars. Because the pattern is round, it's going to put light in the eyes of oncoming cyclists, rather than on the ground and horizontally where you need it.

There is a somewhat reasonable way to use a small flashlight as a cycling light, but that's to put it on your helmet and keep it zoomed in narrow and positioned such that it is aimed quite down when your head is in usual position. Then you can light where you need to see - mostly the ground in front of you, or a possible obstacle you need to check out. You can also rapidly pan it across oncoming traffic (especially motorized) while still at a distance to draw attention, without keeping it in others eyes. And most importantly of all, as you're actually passing someone you can tilt your head to aim it down and to the side - which is probably where you want your own eyes too, on account of their light.
Unfortunately that is a common problem with many of the cheaper lights, giving off a symmetrical beam.

In many cases, one gets the best view by focusing the beam on the horizon, and getting scatter downward. But, unfortunately an equal amount of scatter upward into approaching pedestrians and vehicles.

Many of the bike lights are extremely bright, with essentially a point source which is aggravating to oncoming people.

If you have a flexible mount on the light, it can be polite to either dim it or point it towards the ground when approaching others.
CliffordK is online now  
Old 11-22-19, 09:30 AM
  #12  
livedarklions
Cyclesomatic
 
livedarklions's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2018
Location: New England
Posts: 5,285

Bikes: Trek FX 3; 1994 Specialized Allez Pro; Motobecane Fantom CX; Giant OCR A1

Mentioned: 37 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2725 Post(s)
Liked 1,092 Times in 668 Posts
Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
Unfortunately that is a common problem with many of the cheaper lights, giving off a symmetrical beam.

In many cases, one gets the best view by focusing the beam on the horizon, and getting scatter downward. But, unfortunately an equal amount of scatter upward into approaching pedestrians and vehicles.

Many of the bike lights are extremely bright, with essentially a point source which is aggravating to oncoming people.

If you have a flexible mount on the light, it can be polite to either dim it or point it towards the ground when approaching others.
If you're on the road at night, I suspect that constantly having to adjust your headlight is going to cancel out some of your margin of safety you've gained by having lights because it's just one more distracting thing you have to attend to. Much better to just find a set it and forget it position and brightness. You're describing a lot more adjustment than flicking between your brights and dims on a car.

I've always found bicycling to inherently involve more necessary multitasking than driving.
livedarklions is offline  
Old 11-22-19, 09:35 AM
  #13  
CliffordK
Senior Member
 
CliffordK's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Eugene, Oregon, USA
Posts: 23,560
Mentioned: 182 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 9786 Post(s)
Liked 329 Times in 259 Posts
Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
If you're on the road at night, I suspect that constantly having to adjust your headlight is going to cancel out some of your margin of safety you've gained by having lights because it's just one more distracting thing you have to attend to. Much better to just find a set it and forget it position and brightness. You're describing a lot more adjustment than flicking between your brights and dims on a car.

I've always found bicycling to inherently involve more necessary multitasking than driving.
The biggest risk is missing the person without lights coming up behind the person that you see.

However, one thing that I like about dimming in one form or another is that it acknowledges to the person you're approaching that you've seen them.

I disagree that dimming is beyond the scope of what a cyclist can safely handle.
CliffordK is online now  
Old 11-22-19, 09:38 AM
  #14  
VegasTriker
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Sin City, Nevada
Posts: 2,185

Bikes: Catrike 700, Greenspeed GTO trike, , Linear LWB recumbent, Haluzak Horizon SWB recumbent, Balance 450 MTB, Cannondale SM800 Beast of the East

Mentioned: 18 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 334 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 25 Times in 19 Posts
It is not unreasonable to use a flashlight as a bike light. The one I recommended can be focused for beam width and the 360 degree flashlight holder allows you to aim the beam toward the ground in front of you exactly where you want the light to go. It doesn't cast vast amounts of light straight ahead and up. It certainly can be seen by vehicles even when aimed at the ground. I simply can't understand why some riders get their shorts in a bunch over the light from a flashlight aimed at the ground when the beam from a vehicle approaching from the other direction is far brighter and more widely dispersed.
VegasTriker is offline  
Old 11-22-19, 10:00 AM
  #15  
livedarklions
Cyclesomatic
 
livedarklions's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2018
Location: New England
Posts: 5,285

Bikes: Trek FX 3; 1994 Specialized Allez Pro; Motobecane Fantom CX; Giant OCR A1

Mentioned: 37 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2725 Post(s)
Liked 1,092 Times in 668 Posts
Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
The biggest risk is missing the person without lights coming up behind the person that you see.

However, one thing that I like about dimming in one form or another is that it acknowledges to the person you're approaching that you've seen them.

I disagree that dimming is beyond the scope of what a cyclist can safely handle.
Disagree--blinding a person who's going to cross your path is a huge risk and a very dumb thing to do.

If there's a switch that you don't have to feel for sitting on your handlebars, and you don't actually have to reorient the light, that's probably right that it's within the scope of safe operation, but that's not what you were describing.

My observation is that at night, I need to attend to things like pothole avoidance, etc., that are a lot harder to do than during the day. There's no way that adding another task to the list is going to make you safer, and everything I know about the human brain says that the more tasks you have to perform at once, the more likely it is you're going to screw one up. Safety measures and equipment are all issues of probability, and it's completely absurd to argue that there is any benefit to having to fiddle with and fine tune equipment while riding on a bike at night.
livedarklions is offline  
Old 11-22-19, 10:48 AM
  #16  
JanMM
rebmeM roineS
 
JanMM's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Metro Indy, IN
Posts: 15,634

Bikes: RANS V3 ti, RANS V-Rex, RANS Screamer

Mentioned: 15 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 507 Post(s)
Liked 63 Times in 52 Posts
Three days and 15 posts later, let's hope the OP - missing in action - has figured out that their reflector is 'always on'. Would have been a good candidate for the Cateye Reflex Auto front and rear safety lights, which had large reflector surfaces combined with LEDs, activated by photocell/motion switches.
__________________
RANS V3 Ti, RANS V-Rex, RANS Screamer
JanMM is offline  
Old 11-22-19, 03:00 PM
  #17  
Chris654
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2019
Posts: 9
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I wanna New bike Could anyone suggest me. Thanks
Chris654 is offline  
Old 11-22-19, 03:07 PM
  #18  
livedarklions
Cyclesomatic
 
livedarklions's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2018
Location: New England
Posts: 5,285

Bikes: Trek FX 3; 1994 Specialized Allez Pro; Motobecane Fantom CX; Giant OCR A1

Mentioned: 37 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2725 Post(s)
Liked 1,092 Times in 668 Posts
Originally Posted by Chris654 View Post
I wanna New bike Could anyone suggest me. Thanks
Can't really do that unless we narrow down the possibilities.

What kind of riding do you want to do and what's your price range?
livedarklions is offline  
Old 11-23-19, 07:24 AM
  #19  
rseeker
Senior Member
 
rseeker's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Southeast US
Posts: 756
Mentioned: 9 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 256 Post(s)
Liked 81 Times in 58 Posts
Originally Posted by JanMM View Post
Probably not impossible nowadays to design an LED light that looks just like a simple bike reflector, but not aware that has been done.


That's interesting because it might be stealthy, theft-wise.
rseeker is offline  
Old 11-23-19, 07:43 AM
  #20  
CliffordK
Senior Member
 
CliffordK's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Eugene, Oregon, USA
Posts: 23,560
Mentioned: 182 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 9786 Post(s)
Liked 329 Times in 259 Posts
Not a peep from the OP, @RiotArrows?
CliffordK is online now  
Old 11-25-19, 08:18 AM
  #21  
genec
genec
 
genec's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: West Coast
Posts: 26,392

Bikes: custom built, sannino, beachbike, giant trance x2

Mentioned: 36 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 7152 Post(s)
Liked 255 Times in 184 Posts
I love my Niterider lighting system, with thumb controls for light intensity.

I also ride with two rear flashers, one high and one low, well as the steady red from the Nightrider. See, AND be seen.

I also have a backup flashlight, easily removed, should I need to find my way or fix a flat. I use that light as a daytime front blinky.
genec is offline  
Old 11-26-19, 04:14 PM
  #22  
noisebeam
Al
 
noisebeam's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: AZ
Posts: 14,645

Bikes: Cannondale SuperSix, Lemond Poprad. Retired: Jamis Sputnik, Centurion LeMans Fixed, Diamond Back ascent ex

Mentioned: 52 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3625 Post(s)
Liked 163 Times in 102 Posts
Originally Posted by UniChris View Post
Please don't use a flashlight on the handlebars. Because the pattern is round, it's going to put light in the eyes of oncoming cyclists, rather than on the ground and horizontally where you need it.

There is a somewhat reasonable way to use a small flashlight as a cycling light, but that's to put it on your helmet and keep it zoomed in narrow and positioned such that it is aimed quite down when your head is in usual position. Then you can light where you need to see - mostly the ground in front of you, or a possible obstacle you need to check out. You can also rapidly pan it across oncoming traffic (especially motorized) while still at a distance to draw attention, without keeping it in others eyes. And most importantly of all, as you're actually passing someone you can tilt your head to aim it down and to the side - which is probably where you want your own eyes too, on account of their light.
Most don't ride against traffic and a flashlight does not blind oncoming traffic on other side of road. However when on MUPs aim the flashlight so it creates a spot on path ahead. No blinding issue.

But DO NOT put light on helmet unless an off road mountain biker who needs to see around more. Helmet use will surely blind other cyclists when they look at other cyclists and they are prohibited in many of the night rides I go on for this reason.
noisebeam is offline  
Old 11-26-19, 05:40 PM
  #23  
UniChris
Senior Member
 
UniChris's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2017
Location: NYC
Posts: 865

Bikes: 36" Unicycle

Mentioned: 15 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 370 Post(s)
Liked 75 Times in 64 Posts
Originally Posted by noisebeam View Post
However when on MUPs aim the flashlight so it creates a spot on path ahead. No blinding issue.

But DO NOT put light on helmet unless an off road mountain biker who needs to see around more.
I'm going to have to disagree - it's really the other way around.

A fixed round pattern flashlight has to have too broad a beam and too much light if it is going to provide sufficient coverage in a setting without streetlights. With fixed light you can't check out things to the side without wiggling the bars, and you can't scan further ahead than the fixed down angle allows. Thus to actually see what you need to, you end up putting out too many lumens in too broad a beam: there's a reason viable fixed lights don't have a round pattern.

But a head-mounted light can be a very narrow beam, because it only puts light exactly where you are looking - by default the ground directly in front a braking distance ahead, but if you chose also way up at the limit of vision where you are checking for reflective signs in the distance, at that odd shape beside the trail you are wondering about, or only very briefly while they are still far away, throwing an attention getting flash of light across that cyclist, pedestrian, or car.

Helmet use will surely blind other cyclists when they look at other cyclists
The answer to that is: do not look AT other cyclists at night

Once you've identified what they are, there's no reason to look at them (and their light), instead look down and to the outside, same as they teach in driver's ed for dealing with oncoming headlights.

Should their path actually change, that's readily visible in peripheral vision.

If you must sneak a peak, look with your eyeballs while keeping your head (and thus your own light) down and to the side.

Last edited by UniChris; 11-27-19 at 08:27 AM.
UniChris is offline  
Old 11-27-19, 07:28 AM
  #24  
MoAlpha
ē ó
 
MoAlpha's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Land of Pleasant Living
Posts: 3,617

Bikes: Occasionally

Mentioned: 41 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2174 Post(s)
Liked 368 Times in 226 Posts
Originally Posted by RiotArrows View Post
So I bought a bike 2 days ago from Walmart (Im a newbie at bikes) and I noticed thereís an object between the handle bars that looks like a flashlight for bikes. What is it and how can I exactly turn it on? (I canít provide images because I need to post 10 threads.) Thank you.
Probably a 532 nm laser.
MoAlpha is offline  
Old 11-27-19, 12:16 PM
  #25  
indyfabz
Senior Member
 
indyfabz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 24,132
Mentioned: 184 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 9631 Post(s)
Liked 1,126 Times in 698 Posts
Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
Not a peep from the OP, @RiotArrows?
Plus...Look at the photos carefully. Looks like damage to the bike. After only 2 days? Walmart bike. I am a noob. Very formulaic. I don't care how much of a newb someone is, reflectors common outside the bike world and are easily identified. Not buying this one.
indyfabz is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.